A resident bird of Cyprus and the Akamas peninsula. It’s a woodland species that it’s occasionally observed outside forested areas, although usually in a relatively close proximity to a forest or valleys with dense tree vegetation.
It’s usually seen singly or in pairs. It’s a quite elusive bird, difficult to be seen and hides well in forested areas. It mostly perches on a tree, with upright posture, scanning the area around it and when it spots potential prey it will attack with a fast flight between the trees. Another method it uses is by flying higher up, or slightly higher than the tree level, flushing the birds around and making a sudden attack in the chaos is caused by its presence.
It feeds on small to medium sized mammals (rats, hares) and predominantly birds, having a very wide gamut, generally larger in size than the prey of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (e.g. Woodpigeons, Chukars, Corvids etc.), rarely on reptiles (big lizards).
It’s a medium sized bird of prey, very powerful. It’s very similar to the Eurasian Sparrowhawk in appearance, but almost double in size, at least in mass, with much thicker legs. The female is significantly larger than the male. The male is grey-bluish above, while the female is grey-black. The underside is whitish with narrow horizontal stripes. It has a characteristic, prominent white supercilium.